Footballer’s Lives

I am sorry, I think I need a wee break from re-cycling and salvaging for now…thought I would just indulge in a bit of sheer bling…Doug shot this house when it belonged to a Scottish Premiership Player…lie back and enjoy…no expense spared…nothing has been ‘upcycled’…


Note the two island units in the luxurious kitchen

Dining area

The cavernous expanses of space…

Pool table


Beautiful bedrooms

Child's bedroom

basins Shower Tap detail

And bathrooms…

He was very spoilt to have had the house’s interior designed by the lovely Kate Smith.

Kate Smith

Find out more about Kate and her work at her website Four Dots Design


Never been a big fan of murals…a bit too much of a commitment somehow, but really liked this!

Kitchen Mural

Fausto Coppi, Raphael Geminiani and Hugo Koblet…1951 Tour de France, Stage 14. The owner, Fiona, found it on Surface View. It is one of their ‘Getty Images’. They do murals, canvas, wallpaper. Fiona gave them the dimensions of her wall and had the 3 panels of wallpaper in a week. There are various finishes for the mural and wallpaper. This is smooth satin finish.

Fiona and her husband are both into cycling, she did this for a wedding anniversary present…love it!

Anyone else looking for a present for a Tour De France fan have a look at the choices available at the Getty Images Collection at Surface View

Happy Valentines

paper heart

Was utterly charmed to meet at a Business Women’s Networking lunch, a lovely, lovely lady, Karen Barr of Beswitchedon A life style coach who specialises in helping single ladies find a relationship and who guarantees single clients that they will achieve better connections with friends, family, and men within 8 sessions of coaching by her. Even though I am an old married lady by now, relationships are still a priority for me and I suspect that this is true for everyone. For single people, relationships with friends and family are a huge support and if you are married or have a partner it is always going to be something that needs attention – it does not get easier after a few years unfortunately!!

I asked Karen for a few words of inspiration that I could share with my readers on Valentines Day and she sent this, a twenty-first century guide to meeting people online.

Internet dating is THE new way to meet people. However there are still a lot of sceptics out there. Here are my top tips for safe and effective internet dating…

1. Facts about Internet Dating
60% of all single people who are looking are looking on-line
That means there are around 90 million people searching on line right now!
One in 5 marriages from the last 3 years are couples who met on the internet
I personally have been to the weddings of 4 internet couples, and know at least 10 more who are married or long term dating.

So it DOES work!

2. Attitude is everything!
One of the first things you need to get clear is your attitude. My favourite expression is “You reap what you sow”, so if you don’t believe the internet will work for you then it won’t. I do however empathise with you because I thought for a long time that the type of guy I wanted to meet would never be anywhere near the internet looking for a partner. WRONG!!

3. Intention
Once you have cleaned up your attitude, write out a statement of intention stating that you will put the appropriate effort into finding love on-line.

4. Writing a great profile
The key here is to know yourself and who you are looking for. Most women don’t think twice about the type of man they want, they just date anyone who is interested – no much wonder it doesn’t work out.

First, write out the top 5 adjectives that best describe you – these can include things you like to do. Then write out a statement that proves each one! Yes, just like a competency based interview! “Tell me a time when you…”

For example, have you any idea how many people say they like to travel?? So instead of just saying “I like to travel”, say something like, “One of my favourite cocktail moments was sipping Daquiri’s in Hemmingway’s Bar in Havana” or “I love watching the sun set over Hong Kong Harbour”. You get the idea. This is ‘show and tell’ stuff!

If you are extrovert and spontaneous, say so! An introverted planner needs to know that.

5. Invest in a decent photo
There is no excuse for not having a good clear head and shoulder shot. Get it done professionally if you really want to make a good impression. Men love women in red (a cliché I know but its true!) And show just a little cleavage – just a LITTLE mind!!

If you have to have a picture of you on your mountain bike, or you with your cuddly toy collection, have them as additional photos, not the main one.

6. Which site do I use?
Well, this is a bit like joining gym, it doesn’t matter which one you join, it’s using it that counts.

As I long suspected, recent research suggests that sites with psychometric profiling are a bit of a waste of time, so I wouldn’t bother with those. I also think that anyone who won’t even pay for a subscription shows lack of commitment, so I would also avoid those too.

Generally, the top sites such as, or are good. So are the ones associated with newspapers such as Guardian Soulmates or Telegraph Dating depending on your political allegiance!

7. “Dos”
Do flirt, wink, favourite, or whatever the site allows. Or just go straight for it and email someone you like the look of directly.

Do go on-line often; most men won’t even bother with you if they see you haven’t been on-line for a few days, so try to do this at least every 48 hours.

Ask questions relating to your date’s profile, there is nothing nicer than knowing someone has actually read about you and is showing a genuine interest

8. “Don’ts”
In my experience, there are a few men who think that having a relationship based on emails or text is acceptable. If they are always texting and never calling – forget it.

Same with emails. If you are looking for someone local and can meet up easily, do so as soon as you feel comfortable.

ALWAYS speak on the phone before you agree to meet up. THIS SHOULD BE A NON NEGOTIABLE RULE. I think you get a much better feel for the person if you can talk to them. And besides, if you can happily chat to them for 30 minutes or so on the phone, then at least you know you can manage a decent conversation even if the spark is not there.

9. The Date
Go somewhere central – this just makes sense for safety’s sake. And always get your own way there and home.
Tell friends where you are going , and text them once you are on your way home. I’m sure they are dying to know how it went anyway!

Only stay for an hour. I think this is the easiest way to get out of a tricky situation. Tell your date that you only have one hour for a quick drink or a coffee. If it’s going well you can always change your mind or if it’s going really well, you have the rest of your lives to spend more time together.

10. Keep at it
It is very easy to get jaded if you are not finding anyone to your liking on the site. This is where you have to remember your commitment to yourself.
Just go out and enjoy meeting new people. It might not all end in ‘happy ever after’ but if you decide to have fun and be interested in others, you will find people interested in you.

Leaf heart Gummy Sweets

Wow, some real eye-openers there…Do men like women in red?? Her advice about meeting up as soon as possible, I think is very pertinent. Sorry to add a cynical note to this most romantic of subjects, but unfortunately you do get married men on dating websites and their inevitable reluctance to actually meet or suspiciously tight ‘work’ schedules are a real give away.

Inspiring though…get in touch with Karen through her website Beswitchedon


Definitely on a theme here, was delighted to be invited to the opening of UP NB, a regular Saturday afternoon event to be held in the stunning office space, belonging to Rhona Hartley, in North Berwick.


Rhona’s husband Al, has had a long hidden talent for up/re-cycling, which he is, literally, just bringing out into the open!


A kids croquet set, re-invented as Wall Art!


Hooks can be made from anything you know!

Vintage corner

Vintage Corner

Kids corner

An opportunity for kids to drop in and swap a DVD or a game and make a donation to charity…

The Space

Anyone interested, is invited to pop along 12-4pm any Saturday afternoon. You might want to browse, buy, be inspired, or even join in. Al has suggested that anyone else with a hidden up-cycling habit in the area, is welcome to come and exhibit their pieces, alongside his, for a very fair fee cut in your favour if sold.


An organic concept… Rhona and Al also suggest that folk can ‘give us things like furniture etc anything that we can up-cycle and re-sell we will then either give you some money or donate to a local charity….’

The beauty of this new business is that it is just a seed, planted in a beautiful space, with a little TLC, it should grow and grow!

Watch this space, 25, Station Hill, North Berwick

A Spoonful of Vintage

To follow on from my post about Lyon & Turnbull and buying quirky and interesting pieces of furniture at auction, it seemed obvious to post a story about a home where the owners are completely committed to 1950’s, retro style furniture and home ware. Known as The Vintage Vendors, Ian Hughes and Helen Monaghan have furnished their Edinburgh apartment with Mid-Century pieces, down to the last tea spoon.


Kitchen corner

Another collection

1950's chair

Living room

The sofa came from a shop called Bra Bohag which specialises in mid-century furniture. A favourite shop of Ian and Helen’s, in Edinburgh’s Easter Road. Flea markets, Ebay and Vintage Fairs are all equally favoured hunting grounds as well.

However after ten years of collecting, their flat is now bulging at the seams. They sell their overspill at the regular vintage fairs that Helen organises at the Spoon Cafe in Edinburgh’s Nicholson St, called a ‘Spoonful of Vintage’you will find an amazing selection of 1950’s fashion, home ware, and accessories. The next date is Saturday 3rd March, 11am-5pm. Helen arranges them seasonally, one in June, one in October and one in December too.